daily emergency

By: ewhite422

Apr 09 2010

Category: Uncategorized

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Last Friday, Good Friday, I rode to Beaumont with the CEO/Senior Chaplain of the nonprofit I serve.  I am Chairman of the Board of Emergency Ministries, (www.emergencyministries.org) and we provide chaplaincy to first responders, fire fighters, police, and EMS, who confront life and death on a daily basis.

It can take it out of you!

I talked with some of the crews for one of our clients, a private ambulance company, and I received a tour from the CEO.  I met people who work 24 hour shifts and deal with traumatic events day and night.  From dead babies, to car accidents, to suicide attempts.

Did you know that each ambulance costs about $150K?  Did you know that the average career longevity in this industry is only 5 years?

They see horrific things on a daily basis.  It affects their personal lives and most eventually burn out.

The ones who stay will admit they’re “addicted to adrenaline.”  They do whatever it takes to deliver treatment, and the adrenaline flows while they remain calm.  Then they go back to the station and come face to face with what they just witnessed.  They can go for a long time with no side effects, but suddenly, it just snaps, Cumulative Stress.  Maybe it’s their 10th dead baby or the car accident with multiple fatalities, all under 16 years old.  Or the murder/suicide of a man who shot his children in their pajamas and then turned the gun on himself after shooting his wife after seeing her children die.

How do you live with these things in your memory?

You need support.  You need faith.  You need someone who has been there.

I met Skip Straus, the founder of Emergency Ministries, at our favorite restaurant where they have live piano music.  He and his wife, Cindy, introduced themselves, which happens to Brooks and me all the time, since people see us having so much fun. The next thing I knew, I had been invited to a board meeting.  I attended, and lo and behold, I was voted Chairman of the Board.  How do I get myself into these situations?

I could not say no.

Think about it.  God forbid it happen to you, but what IF you were to experience a serious car accident.  The ambulance comes wailing to your rescue and the paramedics jump out.  Would you want them to be stressed out and at their wits end?  Or would you want them to be able to look you in the eyes and reassure you with a confidence that they can give because they are okay, and they will do everything to make sure you are, too?  I don’t know about you, but if I’m looking death in the face, I want someone beside me who is healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually.  They do their jobs, no matter what.  But I also want that personal connection.

We are expanding Emergency Ministries, and if you would like to help, please, let me know!

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